Posted in General, Grammar

Relative Pronouns: Subject or Object


Relative Pronouns

relative pronoun use example
who subject or object pronoun for people I told you about the woman who lives next door.
which subject or object pronoun for animals and things Do you see the cat which is lying on the roof?
which referring to a whole sentence He couldn’t read which surprised me.
whose possession for people animals and things Do you know the boy whose mother is a nurse?
whom object pronoun for people, especially in non-defining relative clauses (in defining relative clauses we colloquially prefer who) I was invited by the professor whom I met at the conference.
that subject or object pronoun for people, animals and things in defining relative clauses (who or which are also possible) I don’t like the table that stands in the kitchen.

Subject Pronoun or Object Pronoun?

Subject and object pronouns cannot be distinguished by their forms – who, which, that are used for subject and object pronouns. You can, however, distinguish them as follows:

If the relative pronoun is followed by a verb, the relative pronoun is a subject pronoun. Subject pronouns must always be used.

the apple which is lying on the table

If the relative pronoun is not followed by a verb (but by a noun or pronoun), the relative pronoun is an object pronoun. Object pronouns can be dropped in defining relative clauses, which are then called Contact Clauses.

the apple (which) George lay on the table

Posted in General, Grammar

Gerunds and Infinitives (II)


(Second part of this topic)

Gerunds and Infinitives Part 2

7. Gerunds can often be modified with possessive forms such as his, her, its, your, their, our, John’s, Mary’s, the machine’s, and so on. This makes it clearer who or what is performing the action.

Examples:

  • I enjoyed their singing. They were singing.
  • She understood his saying no to the offer. He said no.
  • Sam resented Debbie’s coming late to the dinner. Debbie came late to the dinner.
  • We discussed the machine’s being broken. The machine is broken.

8. Some verbs are followed by a noun plus an infinitive. In some situations, the noun is required. In other situations, the noun is optional. List of Verbs Followed by a Noun + an Infinitive

Examples:

  • The police ordered the man to stop. noun is required
  • She asked to leave. noun is optional
  • She asked him to leave. noun is optional

9. Some verbs are usually followed by a gerund, BUT they can also be followed by a noun plus infinitive. Using a noun plus infinitive will usually change who is performing the action. List of Verbs followed by a Gerund OR a Noun + Infinitive

Examples:

  • I advised taking the train. in general
  • I advised him to take the train. He will take the train.

10. There are many “go + gerund” expressions used for adventure sports and individual recreational activities. List of Go + Gerund Combinations

Examples:

  • I go swimming every weekend.
  • Would you ever go skydiving?

11. Gerunds are used after prepositions. Most commonly, these are “verb + preposition” combinations. For reference, see the Verb + Preposition Dictionary and the Phrasal Verb Dictionary. You don’t have to memorize these resources, you just need to remember that gerunds are used after prepositions!

Examples:

  • They admitted to committing the crime.
  • Leslie made up for forgetting my birthday.
  • He is thinking about studying abroad.

12. Remember that there are many “adjective + preposition” combinations and “noun + preposition” combinations in English as well. These are also followed by gerunds. List of Adjective + Preposition Combinations Followed by Gerunds and List of Noun + Preposition Combinations Followed by Gerunds. Once again, you don’t have to memorize these resources, you just need to remember that gerunds are used after prepositions!

Examples:

  • Sandy is scared of flying. adjective + preposition
  • Nick is anxious about taking the examination. adjective + preposition
  • His interest in becoming a professional snowboarder was well known. noun + preposition
  • Thomas’ story about seeing a grizzly bear was really exciting. noun + preposition
Posted in General, Grammar

Gerunds and Infinitives


(From Englishpage)

Gerunds and Infinitives Part 1

1. A gerund is a noun made from a verb by adding “-ing.” The gerund form of the verb “read” is “reading.” You can use a gerund as the subject, the complement, or the object of a sentence.

Examples:

  • Reading helps you learn English. subject of sentence
  • Her favorite hobby is reading. complement of sentence
  • I enjoy reading. object of sentence

Gerunds can be made negative by adding “not.”

Examples:

  • He enjoys not working.
  • The best thing for your health is not smoking.

2. Infinitives are the “to” form of the verb. The infinitive form of “learn” is “to learn.” You can also use an infinitive as the subject, the complement, or the object of a sentence.

Examples:

  • To learn is important. subject of sentence
  • The most important thing is to learn. complement of sentence
  • He wants to learn. object of sentence

Infinitives can be made negative by adding “not.”

Examples:

  • I decided not to go.
  • The most important thing is not to give up.

3. Both gerunds and infinitives can be used as the subject or the complement of a sentence. However, as subjects or complements, gerunds usually sound more like normal, spoken English, whereas infinitives sound more abstract. In the following sentences, gerunds sound more natural and would be more common in everyday English. Infinitives emphasize the possibility or potential for something and sound more philosophical. If this sounds confusing, just remember that 90% of the time, you will use a gerund as the subject or complement of a sentence.

Examples:

  • Learning is important. normal subject
  • To learn is important. abstract subject – less common
  • The most important thing is learning. normal complement
  • The most important thing is to learn. abstract complement – less common

4. As the object of a sentence, it is more difficult to choose between a gerund or an infinitive. In such situations, gerunds and infinitives are not normally interchangeable. Usually, the main verb in the sentence determines whether you use a gerund or an infinitive.

Examples:

  • He enjoys swimming. “Enjoy” requires a gerund.
  • He wants to swim. “Want” requires an infinitive.

5. Some verbs are followed by gerunds as objects. List of Verbs Followed by Gerunds

Examples:

  • She suggested going to a movie.
  • Mary keeps talking about her problems.

6. Some verbs are followed by infinitives. List of Verbs Followed by Infinitives

Examples:

  • She wants to go to a movie.
  • Mary needs to talk about her problems